How to install an exhaust fan

Bradley
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How to install an exhaust fan

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Project Overview

Get rid of the steam in your bathroom by installing an exhaust fan. We’ll teach you how to mount it on the ceiling and what to keep in mind when working out where to position it. You’ll also see what tools you should use to do the job properly.
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Exhaust Fan
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Keep your plaster cut outs

If you need to cut a large hole in your ceiling to install a fan or a light, always keep the plaster. You can leave it up in the roof cavity next to the hole. That way, you’ll always have the perfect replacement piece if you need to fill the hole back in.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Mark out the hole for your exhaust fan
2 Cut out the hole for your exhaust fan
3 Install the exhaust fan in the ceiling
  • Step 1. Mark out the hole for your exhaust fan

    When choosing a spot on the ceiling for your fan, get into your roof cavity and look for a gap in the joists that is clear of electrical wires. You should also clear any insulation away. Once you’ve found a good spot, tape the cardboard template in position on the ceiling and mark out your cutting circle.
  • Step 2. Cut out the hole for your exhaust fan

    Lay drop sheets down to protect your floor, fixtures and fittings. Then use your plaster saw to punch a small pilot hole inside the cutting circle you marked on the ceiling. Now, from inside the pilot hole, cut outwards and around the rim of the circle.
  • Step 3. Install the exhaust fan in the ceiling

    Put the fan in the hole, keeping the power cord on top of the motor where the electrician can reach it easily. Then hold the fan in place, while you tighten the screws on the rim. These screws engage small catches that grip onto the top of the plasterboard. Finish the job by pushing the cover plate into place. 

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Plaster saw
  • Safety glasses

Materials

  • Drop sheets
  • Exhaust fan
  • Masking tape
  • Template

More D.I.Y Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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